School Spotlight: Brooklyn Center HS Raises the BARR
This week’s School Spotlight shines on Brooklyn Center High School, where a new program is off to a good start. At BCHS, teachers are raising the BARR – literally.
“I’ve seen results this year,” said Will Earley, a math teacher at BCHS.
BARR is an acronym for Building Assets and Reducing Risks. The program is designed to help ninth-grade students make the pivotal transition to high school.
“We identify students who are not maybe living up to the potential that they could be,” Earley said. “We identify them, we say, ‘hey we see that you are doing awesome in football, how can we make that happen in the math classroom or the English class room.'”
BARR Aims to Produce Early Success
Earley says the goal of BARR is to produce early success at Brooklyn Center.
“There’s a lot of data out there about that if you succeed in ninth grade, you’re going to succeed throughout the rest of high school,” Earley said. “Unfortunately it goes the other way. If you struggle through ninth grade you are likely to struggle through the rest of high school.”
Some students, like Jakhai Love, say Earley has a knack for connecting with his class room.
“He just seems like he’s cool,” Love said. “I can relate to him and stuff and if you looked at my past grades with my other math teachers, I couldn’t really relate to them.”
“We kind of recognized as a BARR team Jahkai can be one of our leaders,” Earley said. “I pulled him aside and said, ‘Jahkai, you’re awesome man. I want more students to be like you.'”
Love wants to someday run a business and what he is learning in Earley’s class will help build his academic foundation for the future.
“If he knows that we don’t get it, he comes up to us, asks and explains it to us, step by step so it’s easier,” Love said. “It helps us get passing grades.”
“We wanted to take that extra step,” Earley said, “and really take some time to connect with students.”